Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Christina Conrad, Artist

"What makes outsider art memorable is not its outsider origins, but a level of artistry and power that withstands comparison with any other kind of art."

- Roberta Smith, NY Times, January 22, 2000

I discovered this site while searching for New Zealand poetry ... I wanted a poem that captured home for me.

Anyway, I found Christina Conrad completely distracting. The site displays some of her art and explains that she has been called New Zealand's greatest living artist. She is certainly its greatest eccentric. An obsessive poet, playwright and "outsider" painter & sculptor, she lived as a recluse for twenty years without electricity or running water, where she "kept her paintings in cupboards instead of food".

Her work is disarmingly original and not easily pigeon-holed, nor does the term "outsider" sit easily with her, suggesting as it does someone who is untrained. Conrad's paintings and clay sculptures possess a focus that reflects a rigorous self-training. What one perceives as polish is essentially her obsessive preoccupation with allowing the paint its own life.

"One must leave the ego at the door of the tomb, and create like a blind beggar who hears nothing and knows nothing," she explains. "In this way the painting has a chance to be born whole, without the insidious tampering that adulterates false creative acts."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

on a grey day your words came to me. i devoured them... would you be interested in seeing my film, Jelly's Placenta?

christina conrad